Healthy Eating Basics
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. A healthy diet can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by:
- Improving your cholesterol levels
- Reducing your blood pressure
- Helping you manage your body weight
- Controlling your blood sugar
On average, an adult will need somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain their current weight. The number of calories you need depends on your natural size, muscle mass, activity level, age, and gender.
If you need to lose weight, gain weight, watch your fat, protein, or sodium intake, you’ll have an easier time if you use a food diary. You can use a notebook or use a web-based diet program to keep track of your diet online.
Start by just writing down everything you eat for three or four days before you start a diet, so you can see how many calories you’re currently consuming. Look at how many healthy foods you eat now and how many unhealthy foods you choose as well. Ensure to include at least one weekend day as many people eat differently on the weekends than they do during the rest of the week.
Fruits and vegetables provide lots of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre. You probably need 2 or 3 cups or more vegetables per day, plus some fruit. Studies continue to show that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for overall health.
Whether you prefer three bigger meals per day or three smaller meals and a couple of snacks, make it a habit to eat regularly. Skipping meals might seem like a good weight loss technique, but it can backfire when you feel like you’re starving later in the day. Skipping meals can sometimes lead to overeating later on. Especially if you have a history of an eating disorder, skipping meals is not recommended.